How to Recycle CFL Bulbs

by heather

Most people don’t know that there is mercury in CFL bulbs. Personally, I think companies across the board have done a poor job informing consumers about this, but that’s just me.

There’s not a ton of mercury in there, of course, but there is enough to leak out and hurt the environment. So, throwing them into the trash is a bad idea.

So, how do you recycle CFL bulbs? Where can you take them?

One easy place is Home Depot. They offer free CFL recycling; all you have to do is bring your CFL bulbs to the customer service counter, and they’ll take care of the rest. They offer this service at over 2,000 locations across the United States, and in Canada as well. Thank you, Home Depot.

If you bought your CFL bulbs from Ikea, then you can take them back there for free as well.

You can also visit This site, at the top of the homepage, has a recycling/re-use search tool. All you have to do is type in what you want to recycle (CFL), and then type your zip code. A list of the closest locations will come up.

You could also think about calling up your local municipal services to see if they offer hazardous waste pick-ups. Many do; but make sure you tell them that you have mercury. If they don’t offer this type of recycling, they might direct you to someone that does.

So, short post today but I wanted to get this out there! Not enough people know that they shouldn’t be pitching their CFL bulbs in the trash, so let’s spread the word!

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Carla October 9, 2008 at 10:56 am

I had no idea that there is mercury in CFL bulbs! Thanks for the information on how to throw them away.

RecycleCindy October 13, 2008 at 3:10 pm

Very important post and one that everyone needs to read. The word is getting out but these eco-friendly CFL bulbs aren’t eco if we toss them in the garbage.

heather October 13, 2008 at 4:55 pm

Thank you all for your comments. I, too, was shocked when I found out that CFL’s had mercury. With all the talk about these bulbs, there definitely needs to be more exposure how to dispose of them safely.

Thanks everyone for reading!

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